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Engel & Völkers Montreal Luxury Real Estate Report

July 27, 2020

Montréal’s complete real estate stoppage from mid-March to May 11 is proving to be more of a pause rather than a tipping point toward a downward market. The end of Q2 is seeing Montréal hold its position as a seller’s market as prices climb and new listings hit the market. Pent-up buyer demand and persistently tight housing supply are helping the market rebound at a steady pace.

Montréal began 2020 on an upward trend, seeing prices sharply rise across all property types in the first quarter. At the close of March, Montréal celebrated the 23rd consecutive quarterly increase in sales. Transactions through Q1 surpassed a two-decade record, totalling 14,662 sales, with a 13 per cent increase year-over-year, the best sales result since 2000. At the same time, lockdowns due to COVID-19 had already begun, and real estate was deemed non-essential by mid-March. It returned after nearly two months, coming back on May 11. Montréal sprung into May, with sales and listing inventory discernibly improving with prices continuing to rise, reaching a new all-time high in June.

The market continued to rebound from COVID-19 impacts with home sales increasing 16 per cent year-over-year by the close of June.

After a historically low April and stabilization in May, June brought a flood of buyers returning to the market after lockdown restrictions lifted.

Buyers are seeking properties that fit a ‘stay at home’ lifestyle and the luxury market is benefiting from this spike in activity. There is a noticeable pivot away from properties over $5 million as affluent buyers are defining luxury differently. The age of excess is marked for departure and a new generation of homeowners is ushering in understated opulence. Simply put, extravagance for its own sake is outdated. This reprioritization of the property wish list began before COVID-19 and accelerated during the pandemic as more buyers realized their true needs and desires.

Engel & Völkers is noticing a new luxury buyer concerned with prioritizing lifestyle inside a smaller footprint resulting in the least possible impact on the environment. Many are investing in recreational properties and hobby farms, wanting to be closer to nature where they can enjoy open spaces with uninterrupted views.

Overall, Montréal real estate price points remained stable throughout the pandemic and effortlessly rebounded as Québec eased its restrictions.

luxury real estate statistics montreal 2020

An In-Depth Look

Demand for properties in Montréal’s high-end and recreational markets is escalating as people seek out larger living spaces amidst the pandemic.

The top three areas for properties above $4 million are Westmount, Town of Mount Royal and Outremont. An influx of affluent French-Canadians is making Outremont a challenging neighbourhood to buy in as supply decreases. In contrast, Westmount, a traditionally English-speaking neighbourhood, is currently experiencing a buyer’s market with five times more listings than Outremont.

International buyer demand for these areas remains high, historically accounting for 20 per cent of Montréal’s buyer pool. In general, buyers with a budget above $3 million will find a promising selection of luxury properties compared to other global cities where inventory is more scarce and prices are strikingly higher.

For homes priced $1-2 million, Southwest, Le Plateau, and Mile Ex/Park Extension are the go-to neighbourhoods for home buying. These areas are sought after for their thriving arts community, restaurants, bars and vibrancy. Montréal’s tech ecosystem continues to grow and it is known as a world leader in the AI sector, positioning it as a strong investment market overall.

A strong first quarter helped cushion the impacts of COVID-19. Despite Québec being the epicentre of the pandemic in Canada, March started off busy for real estate with a four per cent residential sales increase year-over-year.18 However, listings dropped 37 per cent compared to last year. This was due to many sellers staying on the sidelines during the COVID-19 emergency lockdown from mid-March to May 11, forcing a pause in new inventory.

Leading into April, sales dropped expectedly by a historic 68 per cent compared to last year. Interestingly, prices continued to rise with the median price of condominiums jumping by 12 per cent, plexes rising 10 per cent and single-family homes by 9 per cent.19 May was a rebound month and concluded with a less significant drop in sales at 41 per cent compared to last year.20 Listings fell by a mild 21 per cent compared to April, suggesting sellers were returning.

Rebound continued through June as both home sales and median prices increased, while supply remained scarce for the 57th consecutive month. This tight buying pool is positioning Montréal as a firm seller’s market with numerous multiple offer situations. New listings grew by 38 per cent year-over-year, but were offset by the substantial 16 per cent increase in home sales in June. Median prices across all housing types reached record numbers with single-family homes and plexes at $395,000 and $604,000, respectively, up 12 per cent year-over-year.

Condominiums’ median price jumped 17 per cent to $305,000 year-over-year.

depth-of-field-look-luxury-real-estate-montrealWith limited inventory in Montréal, prices are expected to keep climbing due to sustained buyer demand. The market is seeing multiple offer situations with a majority of properties selling over asking price. Meanwhile, Bank of Canada regulations have had a small, limited impact on Montréal as the city saw a rise in new private lenders, providing more financial options for buyers. Lower interest rates due to COVID-19 also boosted consumer confidence, especially for first-time home buyers. Although figures indicate Québec’s April unemployment rate of 17 per cent was the highest since 197623, pre-COVID it was the lowest in 40 years. Engel & Völkers Montréal sees minor job loss influence on home sales and pricing as those affected are not large contributors to the housing market’s overall activity, specifically within the luxury segment.

Demand for more space is contributing to a rush to level-up and purchase larger homes. There is also a trend toward home renovation, with many people making upgrades to outdoor spaces, creating home offices and optimizing the spaces they have.

“We’re seeing multiple offers on luxury inventory that would usually sit on the market for a longer period. This is presenting a temporary selling opportunity for people who have unique properties and want to capitalize on their investment. Market demand is strong in the city core, and we’re seeing new interest in the countryside, as well as the emergence of the hobby farmer. Many buyers want to get back to basics on big pieces of land and feel close to nature. They’re looking to grow vegetables and farm for pleasure rather than profit. That’s something new, and we’re seeing rising interest as a result of the pandemic.”
– Patrice Groleau, License Partner, Engel & Völkers Montréal”

The move toward a permanent work from home lifestyle coupled with the demand for waterfront summer homes is increasing demand for properties outside of the city’s core. Rural inventory is feeling downward pressure as hobby farming is becoming a beloved pastime. This is leading to an upward shift in prices for small farms and country homes.

Q3 Outlook

Existing low inventory coupled with pent-up demand from domestic and international buyers is positioning Montréal for a record-breaking Q3; this is pending borders and universities reopen by September.

Aside from being home to several prestigious Canadian universities, Montréal is known for its livability, green energy sector and is the only North American city with a major French-speaking population. Considering its strong quality of life and resources, Montréal will continue attracting people around the world as a safe market for real estate transactions.

If the same pace of immigrants who have historically entered the city returns once borders reopen, Engel & Völkers Montréal forecasts a considerable influx of international buyers, and demand to explode, particularly in areas offering private English-speaking schools – causing the market to narrow and prices to surge. Inventory is expected to continue to be low due to a shortage of land and growing desirability to permanently live in Montréal.

In June Median prices across all housing types reached record numbers with single-family homes and plexes at $395,000 and $604,000, respectively, up 12 per cent year-over-year.

For those looking to sell, Engel & Völkers Montréal is advising now is the time to take advantage of these market conditions, especially if the home offers unique features. Current buyer psychology for prioritizing space and amenities, influenced by the pandemic, will not last forever.

Summer will continue to be busy as current conditions pose a selling opportunity with homes moving quickly once listed due to pent-up demand. This will lead to a slower fall season with most new listings expected to come on the market before the end of September.

Engel & Völkers Montréal has recently partnered with Four Seasons Montréal for the sale and marketing of the prestigious Private Residences at the top of the Four Seasons Hotel. The residences are priced between $6-15 million, marking record high prices for condos in Montréal.

Hochelaga-Maisonneuve is a neighbourhood growing in popularity for homes less than $1 million. It has transformed from a once predominantly industrial area to an up-and-coming borough known for its independent businesses, heritage buildings and green spaces. The east side of Montréal is expected to boom as the west becomes saturated. Investors should keep an eye on new developments in all areas of the city.

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Patrice Groleau And Debby Doktorczyk | An Exceptional Tandem

July 27, 2020


Of Belgian origin, Debby Doktorczyk was not destined for real estate brokerage when she came to Quebec in 1992.” I had studied interior design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels and continued my training here. Then, I worked in the field for a few years, notably for California Closets, a company for which I designed storage spaces. Then I teamed up with another person to make real estate flips. And that’s when I remembered that you’re never better served than by yourself! So I got my real estate broker’s license and went for it,” she recalls.
For his part, Patrice Groleau, a graduate of four universities, worked in finance, but didn’t get the hang of it. However, he fell in love at first sight when he met the woman who is now his wife and decided to get his broker’s licence as well as his Agency Executive Officer certification. Afterwards, they both started working for real estate developer DevMcGill and launched their own real estate agency: McGill Real Estate. A choice they have never regretted, as they developed their passion for real estate as a couple and are now living it to the fullest.


From their beginnings in the business, Patrice Groleau and Debby Doktorczyk realized that there was a place for them in the field of new property sales. This was the idea behind McGill Real Estate, which they created in 2004. Soon enough, the growth of Montreal’s Griffintown neighbourhood gave them the opportunity to showcase their talent. “We were associated, among others, with Devimco as well as two other developers’ and we were in charge of four of the 20 new condo projects for sale in the area. For several years, we realized more than 70% of the sales in this territory,” recalls Patrice Groleau.



Today, McGill Real Estate has sold more than 10,000 new condos, the equivalent of $4 billion, and more than 25% of the major projects in the Montreal area. Understanding that their clients had other needs as well, in 2015, the tandem created McGill Commercial, which as its name suggests, is dedicated to the sale of commercial real estate. The same year, one challenge not waiting for the other, they launched Engel & Völkers Montreal/Quebec, the Quebec branch of a European banner, a world leader in the sale and acquisition of luxury and high-end properties. After three years of existence, the agency had already become the leading luxury real estate agency in Quebec in terms of transaction volume, and by 2019 it ranked #1 among the agency’s 800 shops worldwide.

While their competitors had to cut positions during the pandemic, they, instead, are continuing to recruit and will soon be launching a new office, their sixth, in Solar, next door to Quartier DIX30. And when all of Quebec was on a break, McGill Real Estate still made more than a hundred sales. How do you explain such a performance? Patrice Groleau and Debby Doktorczyk’s flair and business acumen are beyond doubt, but they can also count on a fire team, a kind of dream team, within their agencies. Motivated people who have been carefully selected and hand-picked, for a total of 175 employees today. “We are one big family, and it’s a bit like the UN at home! It’s very diverse in terms of origin, age and gender. I can do up to 20 interviews a week at peak times and I’m always looking for a specific personality profile. I want to find three key elements: honesty, friendliness and credibility. In 30 seconds, based on what he or she brings out, I know if a candidate has these qualities,” says Patrice Groleau.

But that’s not all; the two partners also have a promising vision. First of all, because they have succeeded in breaking free the brokerage structure from another era, but also because they are totally committed to their business “Our agencies are 100% privately owned with a long-term vision. Over time, we have taken a lot of financial risks, but we have not done so in a spirit of profitability. We are not “bling-bling”, we don’t drive purple Lamborghinis, and the amounts on our T4s are similar to those of our good brokers. We also succeeded, always in a healthy way and without crushing anyone,” says Patrice Groleau. They’re also good corporate citizens, since their agencies are the main sponsors of the Sainte-Justine UHC ball and are also partners with the CHUM research centre and several other foundations.


Partners in life and in business and parents of three children, the spouses make no secret of their passion for their profession. In fact, it is an integral part of their lives, and for them, there is no question of making a break between work and personal life. “We talk about our projects all the time, we’re in meetings all the time! We never run out of things to say… “, jokes Patrice Groleau. “We don’t understand the need to separate the two worlds. For us, they are closely intertwined. It’s also easier to manage on a day-to-day basis, since Patrice understands perfectly when I have to work late to finish a contract for example, and vice versa. Even our holiday plans are along the same lines, as we travel abroad for real estate events or to buy properties,” adds Debby Doktorczyk.



…each with its own unique strengths.” For the first few years, we both did a little bit of the same thing, but as the business grew, we naturally separated the tasks. I love being in operations, going out on the field, meeting with developers and brokers. Patrice is very good at all aspects ranging from marketing to promotional ideas. He launched our website and social media 15 years ago when it wasn’t very popular at the time, he has a real vision. We are partners and involved in all three agencies, but today he’s the one who took the lead at Engel & Völkers, and I’m the one who took the lead at McGill Real Estate and McGill Commercial,” she says.
How did they deal with the situation of social confinement and social distancing? “We adapted very quickly. In less than a week, more than 33 of our projects had already gone virtual,” says Patrice Groleau. From his point of view, real estate should not be too shaken by the current crisis; if it is, it will be temporary. “I remain very optimistic, I believe that in the major centers, the market should remain stable and even grow from 2021. Even if the CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) makes a band apart by predicting declines of 6 to 11% for Quebec, as we were already verging on overheating in downtown Montreal with increases of 24% in one year, in the end, the correction should be relatively weak, if there is a correction in certain sectors, and this will help stabilize the market in the short term,” he analyzes.
For him, the economic disaster will not happen. “Various factors can contribute to a traditional recession, such as unemployment, inflation and other economic data that are often difficult for ordinary people to understand. “Here, the difficulties we are going through are mostly related to COVID-19. So as soon as we solve it, we can return to the growth we had before,” he predicts. A positive vision that could well facilitate the recovery of the Quebec economy.


Condos Le Charlebois Pointe-Claire

July 8, 2020





Engel & Völkers West Island will soon move into the heart of the Pointe-Claire Village in the new condos real estate project “Le Charlebois” which will be built on the site of the former “Pioneer Restaurant and Club” which was originally a hotel founded over 100 years ago by Léon Charlebois, hence the choice of the name “Le Charlebois” Condos Pointe-Claire.

Global luxury giant Engel & Völkers acquired this spectacular and unique corner commercial condo in Pointe-Claire in this intimate little project of only 14 condos. Les Condos Le Charlebois are currently the only luxury condos in Pointe-Claire that retail at prices up to over $2,000,000 + taxes, a logical positioning for Pointe-Claire’s luxury real estate agency.


ENGEL & VÖLKERS becomes the exclusive global real estate ambassador for the PRIVATE RESIDENCES of FOUR SEASONS MONTREAL

June 6, 2020


Rochelle Cantor 514-605-6755 |

ENGEL & VÖLKERS becomes the exclusive global real estate ambassador for the FOUR SEASONS PRIVATE RESIDENCES MONTREAL
 Two global luxury giants join forces to showcase the genius of Montreal design and architecture around the world.

The Private Residences were designed as homes in the sky.

Four Seasons Private Residences Montreal, a development of the real estate developer CARBONLEO have decided to associate themselves with the global luxury giant, ENGEL & VÖLKERS real estate agency for the sale and marketing of the prestigious Private Residences atop the Four Seasons Hotel.

Starting on the 14 th  floor of the Hotel, all 18 Private Residences, bathe in beautiful sunlight by day and the magic of Montreal’s city lights in the evening. With stunning sunrises and peaceful sunsets, residents can enjoy unique cityscapes, in the heart of the “Golden Square Mile” in downtown Montreal, the epicentre of the city’s real estate value and Montreal’s definitive luxury district. It is the nest of the city’s elite art, fashion, architecture, and luxury indulgences and lifestyle.

This space is all about connectivity where an eclectic mix of Montreal’s luminaries blends with a world of cultured visitors creating unforgettable moments during the day and night. Enjoy worry- free residential services when you live with Four Seasons. Arrive in style with valet pampering, move seamlessly from your home to the new Holt Renfrew flagship for some impulse retail therapy, enjoy the renaissance of cocktail culture or feast on a decadent culinary experience.

Private Residence owners benefit from unique amenities at Four Seasons Montreal including access to the gym designed by Harley Pasternak, the best Spa in Montreal, direct access to the “Social Square” on the third floor including MARCUS Restaurant + Lounge and direct access to Holt Renfrew Ogilvy. Stay up all night or retreat to the comfort and privacy of your luxurious residence. It is the place to be inspired, on your terms.

Featuring a full glass curtain wall, each of the Private Residences offer gigantic areas ranging from 4,150 to 9,000 square feet, including private covered terraces with breathtaking views and have dramatic 11’-13’ ceilings.
Four Seasons Private Residences Montreal is among the most luxurious residences ever offered for sale in the province, with retail prices ranging from $6,800,000 CAD to $15,500,000 CAD.
Interestingly, many of the architectural and design elements developed for the Four Seasons Montreal are now integrated into the architectural signature of the new Four Seasons worldwide!

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL MONTREAL: Architecture, design and art accumulate praise and bring the city back into the global luxury hotel conversation

Since its opening, the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Montreal has succeeded in bringing its city back to the forefront of international discussions on luxury hotel design, with glowing coverage in international media including Architectural Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, Dezeen and Wallpaper magazines, including a nomination for the Surface Travel Awards. As a result of sustained interest, the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Montreal is pleased to welcome renowned architecture and design journalists who wish to visit the premises or meet the visionary architects, designers and artists who have designed this iconic hotel where sensuality and intelligent design intertwine and where art and design enchant, surprise and delight Montrealers and travellers from around the world at every turn.

– Architecture: Lemay and Sid Lee Architecture.
– Interior Design Hotel: Gilles & Boissier
– Interior Design Residences: Philip Hazan.
– Restaurant Marcus: Atelier Zébulon Perron for chef Marcus Samuelsson.
– Art Installation: Pascale Girardin.

Designed by Lemay and Sid Lee Architecture, Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Montreal combines classic elegance with contemporary style. The 18-storey multi functional building includes a 169-room and suite hotel as well as 18 Private Residences. It stands out as an icon with its streamlined, counterbalanced volumes and richly textured accents that embody luxury and refinement.

► To schedule a private showing at FOUR SEASONS PRIVATE RESIDENCES of MONTREAL contact:
ROCHELLE CANTOR, Real Estate Broker and “Private Office” at ENGEL & VÖLKERS By telephone at 514-504-6755 or by email at

Rochelle Cantor, a highly respected, elite real estate broker in Montreal, was chosen to be the official representative of Engel & Völkers for this exceptional project. Rochelle is part of the selective and prestigious designation of “PRIVATE OFFICE” of Engel & Völkers, which specializes in providing real estate services to the world’s high net worth individuals.

About CARBONLEO Real Estate Inc.

Carbonleo Real Estate Inc. is a private Quebec based property development and management company that has pioneered a progressively human, vibrant and highly experiential approach to developments.

Inspired by top creators and by world-class best practices, the team of story builders at Carbonleo creates engaging communities through projects that fulfil the aspirations of present and future consumers. With a track record of developing successful next generation mixed-use developments, Carbonleo is dedicated to the on-going revitalization of Montreal, and in continuing to create a portfolio of exciting, high value, differentiated assets that integrate seamlessly into the regions in which they come to life.

Founded in 2012, the company has numerous projects in its stable including Quartier DIX30™, Royalmount, as well as Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Montreal.

  • CLAUDE MARCOTTE, Executive Vice President and Partner CARBONLEO
  • NICOLAS DÉSOURDY, Executive Vice President and Partner CARBONLEO


Founded in 1977 in Germany, Engel & Völkers is the world’s largest luxury real estate agency. Launched in Quebec in 2015, it has grown at a dazzling pace, finishing #1 among luxury real estate agencies in Quebec in 2017… #1 in the Americas in 2018 and #1 in the World in 2019.

Property of Montrealers, Debby Doktorczyk and Patrice Groleau, who are also known as owners of McGILL REAL ESTATE agency (founded in 2005) specialized in the sale and marketing of real estate projects with their track record of +10,000 condos with a total value of + $4 billion, or nearly 25% of major real estate projects in the metropolis. The combination of McGill Real Estate + Engel & Völkers Montreal / Quebec has created an impressive and dominant multidisciplinary team of more than 175 people making them the leaders in real estate brokerage of condominiums and prestigious residences in the province.



Rochelle Cantor 514-605-6755


So God made a realtor

April 22, 2020

and on the eighth day God looked down on his planned paradise and said I need a caretaker
So God made a realtor.

God said: I need somebody that will get up before dawn with the dedication of the Sun,
risk time energy and investment for no salary or guarantee, work long hours on the street,
prepare and deliver presentations, serve and attend to others emergencies, then stay out past midnight at a meeting of the school board,
So God made a realtor.
God needed somebody mentally tough that could wake up unemployed everyday, yet gentle enough to have compassion for others,
someone that can build a bridge between people and technology, someone to arrive home nightly in the dark to accommodate others time, tell them thank you for the opportunity and mean it.
So God made a realtor.

God said: I need somebody that can sell like Carnegie make contacts and write contracts, handle objections and deal with rejections,
and who can finish her 40-hour week by Wednesday noon then weary from contingencies and people’s eccentricities and volatilities, put in another forty hours and sacrifice a weekend too.
so God made a realtor
God needed somebody that does not measure their work in hours but by the satisfaction of their clients, someone to handle emotions unemotionally to meet
with triumph and disaster and treat those two Impostors just the same.

God said I need somebody strong enough to knock doors and be ignored, direct mail and email, run ads, deliver notepads, Yelp and blog and work like a dog, make calls.
and get up from Falls and who will stop her efforts when called upon to mend the broken spirit of a colleague or client.
so God made a realtor.
it had to be somebody who’d honor ethics and integrity and not cut corners to keep their head when all about them are losing theirs, and trust themselves where
others doubt, someone that can hold on when there is nothing left inside except the will, which says hold on who’d laugh and then sigh and then respond with smiling eyes
when her son says he wants to spend his life doing what mom does.
So God made a realtor.


Broker’s desk interview with Patrice Groleau

March 27, 2020


SS: Welcome to this special edition of the Broker’s Desk with my good friend Patrice Groleau.

PG : How are you?

SS : Great, thanks for being here.

PG : Thank you.

SS : For those of you who don’t know Patrice. He’s the owner of Engel & Volkers and McGill Immobilier with your partner, your wife Debby Doktorczyk.

PG: Exactly.

SS : Patrice, first of all: congratulations. You’ve done something fantastic, phenomenal. You’ve positioned yourself as the #1 agency in Quebec with McGill for resale. I think you’re carving out yourself a place in Luxury Real Estate with Engel & Völkers.

PG: Thank you.

SS: Tell me a little bit about your background.

PG: With McGill, we celebrated our 15th anniversary last December. It was a bit of a bump in the road, but that’s the way it is, companies that start with life accidents. My wife Debby was already doing this with “small developers” (I say this with big quotation marks out of respect for our mega developers) but Debby has a background in interior design, she went to the Beaux-Arts in Brussels as an interior designer and all that, so with a partner here in Montreal she was buying duplexes, converting them into cottages, converting duplexes into condos, things like that. When we met, we weren’t really satisfied with the real estate brokers we were working with, or at least we considered that we were able to do the same or even better than the real estate brokers we were working with. Debby did her [broker] licence, and at the time I came from the financial world, I wanted to leave that field. I started working in different jobs and that led me to work in a company owned by Philippe Boisclair, who was one of the co-owners who had just started a company called McGill Development, a small developer who was starting a first project in the beginning of McGill Development. While working with Philippe, Philippe told me that he was looking for a salesperson to sell his first major project. So, my wife, she got her licence and that’s how it started, and the work I was doing with Philippe was more or less to my liking. So, I decided to join Debby, I wanted to get my license too, we were planning to have children, so I wanted to get the license to be able to help her when she was pregnant and things like that, so we started selling real estate projects together, reselling together and it all came together and the business plan changed every three months. But there was a big trigger, which is a nice anecdote: We never intended to bring such a big volume, we wanted to do a small business together as a duo, maybe with one or two people to be able to help each other out during the holidays, things like that. And then one day an agency, a major agency opened, announced that it was going to open an office across the street from our offices. We were on McGill Street in Old Montreal, and they took a name very similar to the name we were using. So, knowing that they were going to open, I called them and asked them: “Listen, you have all the dictionary you can think of to pick your name and you are taking a name that is very similar to ours, and you are across the street and you are going to specialize in the sale and marketing of real estate projects”. And the person said, “You know who we are, we’re worth millions, so before you lose too much money, come work with us right away. I was a little surprised, Debby saw my reaction on the phone, I said: “Listen, is that your final answer? “I’m going to give you one last chance. ”Yeah, we are certain that you will not survive against us”. I looked at Debby and I said, I literally said, “GAME ON” and hung up. I said, “Debby, let’s shut them down.


PG: And that was the challenge. So, it started off as a challenge. We play fair, we play by the book, but the worst thing you can do is give me motivation, and at that moment was on a mission. At first, we just wanted to do this for us. But then I had a mission to be stronger, to supplant this person who had said this strange sentence… That’s it, that was my motivation, and it started.

SS: So actually, competition is very good. We talk a lot about competing with ourselves, being Zen, and then the whole kit… But sometimes a good competition…

PG: If you don’t have competition, you don’t have a market. In every industry there’s always a Coke and always a Pepsi. In every industry. So, we had just found our player, our challenge.

SS: So, you can thank them a little bit…

PG: Honestly, today, yes.

SS: Do they still exist?

PG: No, no, over the years we’ve managed to do… in the right way and just doing it by performance, by being “better than”…

SS : Because you don’t have to play dirty to beat your competitors.

PG : Absolutely not.

SS : But you play hard.

PG : Exactly. I really play fair. For me, it’s like a big giant complex board game, like a “Ni-Shi-Ki” with 1000 squares and you’re playing hundreds of game quarters ahead of time.

SS : Okay, let me ask you a question: how do you stay focused, play hard, play fair, if your competitor is doing moves like that? If they will take your name, or if they don’t play fairly?

PG : That happens a lot. Unfortunately, in all industries, it’s not always that everybody’s going to play by the rules, but we must not be influenced, not to fall into that trap, not to fall into that pattern…

SS: Reactionary…

PG : …keep doing what you’re doing, and let that noise pass. For me, these people who make this kind of move, they’re not focused on the main objective anymore, they’re more reactive to what we’re doing. In the meantime, we continue going forward.

SS: You keep moving forward.

PG: For the first five years we didn’t take any days off. It was five years non-stop.

SS: No days off

PG: We look at this in retrospect. It’s even that with the years I have forgotten, it’s like the brain forgets the harder times. It was…There wasn’t really a shortcut, we were “all in”, it was refinancing, parents helping out, borrowing and all that, that’s it…It wasn’t a long quiet river. There’s a bit of luck in everything, you make your own luck, but there’s also a bit of luck in the dozens, forty or so agencies. It was a bit of a trend, independent agencies popping up and all that, and there were three, maybe three left out of the forty. The others all closed or were acquired at very low cost, so it’s as if they had closed… Even at that time we, when we were making a decision, we had the option…We knew people in Toronto, our competitor in the high-end, they had offered us with the first two brokers for eastern Canada for a luxury banner that was coming in at that time. We declined, and it’s funny to be in the full circle, fifteen years later, now a competitor of one of the first options we declined.

SS: Sometimes as they say, “the best deal you make is the one you don’t”.

PG: But in this case, the competing agency had cleared the way, it was very positive for us, they still brought into the industry the concept of an agency that specialized in a niche, to bring that concept to the client, to do business with a specialized agency.

SS: They kind of paved the way.

PG: Completely. At the same time, the beauty is always to get there second, because then you see the mistakes made, you try not to repeat them. And then you come in with a version that’s often improved, based on what has been done by different players in the past. There after ten years, there was another “trigger”. There were major investment funds that wanted to buy McGill Immobilier, which owns several other brands of Canadian or North American real estate agencies, and we listened to them, we met them. The presidents of those funds came down. So we saw and we were told at the same time: “we have an interest”, which means that Debby and I were doing something good, but at the same time, my wife is of Belgian origin, so when we went to the in-laws we saw Engel & Völkers, which is a monster, in Europe it’s THE monster, it’s dominant, dominant in the upper end of the market.

SS : You’re making it a monster here too.

PG: So it’s going well. I’m a big fan of real estate marketing. With Marc, our VP, with all this. I look at everything that’s done in the world of project real estate marketing, resale, and for me, when I saw Engel & Völkers in Europe, I said to myself that this brand is the most beautiful luxury real estate brand that exists. This brand is perfect, Christian Völkers, I call him the “Steve Jobs” of real estate, this guy has an impeccable marketing vision, and so that’s it, there were still 18 groups interested in acquiring the rights for Quebec.

SS: At the time you bought it?

PG: Honestly, with our financial capacity and all that, compared to some players who were worth tens of hundreds of millions of dollars, we thought that in the financial game, it won’t pass, we won’t win that game. McGill was starting to do well, but we had still made major investments for ten years, except that we were lucky. The Canadian president was Richard Brinkley, who was the former owner of Sutton Ontario for a while. He was returning to Canada, a real estate enthusiast who did not necessarily need to work but who wanted to get back into the real estate game, and we were lucky that he chose us. When we asked him, “Why did you pick us?”… He said, “What you did with McGill Immobilier, saying it’s an anonymous brand, taking it to a specialization that’s so competitive and difficult, I’ve never seen anything like it. So, with a brand as powerful from a marketing point of view as Engel & Völkers, it can only work, and secondly, I see the most fun with you, and I want to have fun. I really liked that comment, it was a leap of faith at the same time because I remember the players who were better structured financially at the time, but in the end, all this to say that last year, after three and a half years, we finished first in volume and number of transactions for the Americas at Engel & Völkers. So, his gamble was good, our gamble was good.

SS : Actually this is the second time you have overcome obstacles or are the odds against you with the company that opened in front of you?

PG: Yes.

SS: …then now against competitors who may have had more money but that never stopped you.

PG: And strangely enough, it also energized McGill Immobilier, we were talking about it with Marc. The synergy between the two had been somewhat underestimated. We’re the only franchisee in the world to own another real estate agency, because we made it clear to them that McGill is not a traditional agency. It’s really more of a consulting business, it’s not really a competition from a resale point of view, but that kind of chemistry is extraordinary: one finishes the other. And at the time, we had, on certain occasions, lost top-of-the-line projects to competitors who had this international network or who were pleading for this international network. So today, this whole niche of higher-end projects is also coming to us with expertise.

SS: You have added it to your inventory…

PG: Today we have 175 programmers, designers, support teams, brokers… We’re a great team. We’re a great team. We’ve also kept, even despite the 175, a great energy, family collaboration, very cliché.

SS: We had already discussed the fact that you were offering, I think, a program I think for your brokers in the health sector, can we talk about that?

PG: Yes, we pay a monthly fee so that the brokers can consult nurses and doctors very quickly. So that’s it, we have calculated that in 2019, we will exceed an average of $33,000 in expenses per broker per year. I know enough people in the industry, I don’t think it exists anywhere else, so that’s it… it’s very transparent and often people will say: a director or a company executive, by the middle of January he made an average salary, I guarantee you that my T4, I reach the average in December like everyone else. We have calculated, using independent figures, that we are at the highest average commission per broker for any banner. So, it’s very transparent, it’s very honest, but there’s a major reason behind it. I am not judging real estate investment funds, but investment funds in general often have a short-term vision of profit maximization. Engel & Völkers is the only non-American banner that is 100% privately owned. There is really a much longer-term vision, so it keeps a little bit of the human side, which unfortunately in many industries is lost with money, so it’s a financial calculation.

SS: Actually, if I understood correctly, Engel & Völkers does not sell a franchise in Quebec, so it’s a family. That’s what the world is looking for in these interviews, is to find something that motivates them. It’s the fact that you’ve been all-in and overcome. That’s the next point I want to touch, it’s okay to go all in when you have nothing to lose or little to lose. But then, when you decided to do Engel & Völkers, you had something on the line, you had something to lose.

PG: I already had something going…

SS: You were still in development. You’re okay to talk about that.

PG: Yes. Yes.

SS: It makes the conversation much more authentic. One of the things we were talking about earlier was how you were all-in when you decided to go with McGill against a competitor with maybe not all the experience or the resources. It’s okay to go all-in when you have less to lose, but when you decided to go for Engel & Völkers, you had something to lose. How do you go all-in a second time?

PG: That’s the challenge. It seems like…McGill was doing well, we could keep growing McGill, but it’s really the challenge to launch something else. My wife may also have that kind of personality, to like to try things. At the same time, we have three children, and in addition to the fact that there was the equation of three children, the children double 11 and 9 of age, so when we started McGill 15 years ago there were no children in the early years. But in addition to the three children, you refinance the house, you have to be imaginative, and then, we had to open a whole bunch of offices. As a reality of our carrying costs, annual fixed costs before making a single dollar, that too us elsewhere. These are really other figures. With a 6,500 square foot flagship in Port Royal on Sherbrooke, we bought an old pharmacy in Old Quebec and Centropolis, we’re under construction at Solar, so the locations are very expensive in terms of costs, but they are a requirement for the franchisor, so we can become nervous quickly.

SS : How do you stay calm in all this?

PG: Strangely enough, I was a very stressed person fifteen years ago. I’m getting calmer and calmer though… it’s getting bigger. The bigger it gets, the calmer I am.

SS: Do you have confidence in your own abilities, the fact that you’ve done this before?

PG: Maybe you think after fifteen years it’s working year after year. At McGill we have a constant progression. Always selling more, closing rates are maintained year after year. We’ve sold over 10,000 condos, 4 billion and this year we’ve already had 3,000 condos announced just for the first six months out of a 15-year history of 10,000. So, the progress is still dazzling. We are winning with E&V, the figures came out of IMS independent and we still finished first in the so-called high-end agencies, the luxury agencies. The results are there. You take comfort in that and that’s it. The team too, we have strong players. It’s really a big family, I think it’s really a family. When I talk about clichés, Coryne, she was 15 years old when we met, and now she’s our chartered accountant. Her mom works with us, her husband, my best friend, my sister-in-law, so I think it’s unique. We didn’t get lost in there, we still have that closeness to everybody, we know the kids, we know families. We know when you feel under the weather, when someone is sick, the deaths, the births… There is a human side, and I think that when you treat your world well, your world gives it back to you. It’s that kind of circle.

SS: The fact that Engel & Völkers sold you the franchise, there are no other franchisees in Quebec?

PG: In Quebec, we had to open offices. We have Tremblant, which is a good example. Tremblant was Intrawest, the brokerage division of Intrawest. What we did was that Intrawest, which was acquired by Fund X, that fund was acquired by Fund Y, which is basically a fund specializing in ski mountain operations. We had estimated that if we came to compete with Intrawest Mountain Operators and all the land for the projects, we might be 12 to 14 years before a break-even, so strategically it didn’t make sense. So, EV World made an agreement with this fund to open Engel&Völkers in all the ski mountains: Whistler, Blue Mountain…and then in two years, at Tremblant, the competition was completely demolished, this 70% market share really exploded. So, there are sectors like that, where offices that are strategic like Tremblant, or other offices where offices will never be profitable… even our competitor has been there for 15, 16 years with three-four brokers. At some point, a photocopier, a coffee machine, a receptionist at the office… there’s absolutely nothing left. So, the utopia of saying “we open everywhere”, it has to be viable.

SS: The most important points compared to the ski mountains, which are still your Engel & Völkers family…

PG: We have 95% of the territory population ratio.

SS: The reason why I’m on this is that somewhere there won’t be this self-cannibalism or this internal competition of several agents of the same brand? Is it always you?

PG: No, already the South Shore, the North Shore, Montreal, Quebec City, and all that… it’s definitely us. So, recruitment, the profile type of the broker, the management of the branding…

SS: What you offer for your brokers, visions, values…

PG: Exactly. That’s a very good point, because in some banners, you see that they open two banners of two different franchises, even sometimes on the same street, one is hiring away brokers from the other, so I don’t think it creates an energy, a synergy… We have a vision, we have applied it.

There’s a reality too. Marketing brands often have North American campaigns, sometimes Canadian ones, but Quebec is a reality in itself. So, we really didn’t want to be dependent on strict international or North American marketing, which we couldn’t adapt to our reality. Engel & Völkers understood that, I must say that we use a lot of their graphic elements.

SS: The European cachet works well in Quebec…

PG: That’s exactly right, the concept is very good. It’s much more of a European brand than an American brand in terms of branding design, and that makes us very good.

SS: The choice between a big Cadillac or a Mercedes.

PG: It’s a very nice analogy.


The Real Estate Embassy ENGEL & VÖLKERS MONTREAL becomes the #1 real estate shop in the world

March 13, 2020

The Real Estate Embassy ENGEL & VÖLKERS MONTREAL becomes the #1 real estate shop in the world within the global luxury giant ENGEL & VÖLKERS!

▻ June 2015: Launch of the world’s luxury giant ENGEL & VÖLKERS in QUEBEC by 𝐏𝐀𝐓𝐑𝐈𝐂𝐄 𝐆𝐑𝐎𝐋𝐄𝐀𝐔 & ★𝐃𝐄𝐁𝐁𝐘 𝐃𝐎𝐊𝐓𝐎𝐑𝐂𝐙𝐘𝐊, owners of McGILL Real estate (real estate agency specialized in the sale and marketing of new condos since 2004) Since 𝟐𝟎𝟏𝟖: Engel & Völkers Montreal / Quebec is the #𝟏 luxury real estate agency throughout all the real estate agencies in Quebec specialized in prestige real estate… 𝟐𝟎𝟏𝟗: #𝟏 among the Engel & Völkers shops in the Americas!… 𝟐𝟎𝟐𝟎: Engel & Völkers Montreal ranks #𝟏 in the WORLD through +800 Real Estate Shops in the most important cities of interest in the world, in front of major markets such as London, New York, Paris, Vancouver, Dubai, Hong Kong and others. Montreal has found its real estate ambassadors to make the city and the province shine.


𝗤𝘂𝗲𝗯𝗲𝗰 𝗴𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗻𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝗲𝗲𝗸 𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗱𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗶-𝗦𝗲𝗺𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗰 𝗱𝗲𝗲𝗱𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝘀𝗮𝗹𝗲

March 3, 2020


► 𝗤𝘂𝗲𝗯𝗲𝗰 𝗴𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗻𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝗲𝗲𝗸 𝗰𝗼𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗱𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗶-𝗦𝗲𝗺𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗰 𝗱𝗲𝗲𝗱𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝘀𝗮𝗹𝗲


You have made us all proud…

🙏🏼 ✡︎ « 𝘐𝘯 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘶𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘢𝘳 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘢 𝘥𝘦𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘧 𝘴𝘢𝘭𝘦 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘣𝘪𝘥𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘵𝘺 𝘪𝘯 𝘘𝘶𝘦𝘣𝘦𝘤 𝘵𝘰 𝘣𝘦 𝘴𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘵𝘰 “𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘑𝘦𝘸𝘪𝘴𝘩 𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘨𝘪𝘯”, 𝘘𝘶𝘦𝘣𝘦𝘤 𝘑𝘶𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘔𝘪𝘯𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘚𝘰𝘯𝘪𝘢 𝘓𝘦𝘉𝘦𝘭 𝘴𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘴𝘦𝘦𝘬 𝘢 “𝘤𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘥𝘺” 𝘵𝘰 𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘩𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘰𝘸𝘯𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘥𝘰 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘨𝘰 𝘵𝘰 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘪𝘤 𝘤𝘭𝘢𝘶𝘴𝘦𝘴 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘤𝘬𝘦𝘯 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘴𝘢𝘭𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘤𝘶𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘴. »







2019 Year-End Market Report

January 22, 2020


The Montréal market is booming, with the local real estate board indicating bidding wars occurring in record numbers in 2019. It is a growing sellers market, fueled by a potent mix of heritage properties, creative industries and an emerging tech economy. Large investments by global corporations in downtown Montréal, as well as an influx of start-ups are fueling the price surge. There is a consistent demand and attractiveness to live in the city with days on market shortening due to many properties selling above asking. Engel & Völkers expects this to continue in 2020 with neighbourhoods like Mile End and Mile-Ex emerging as thriving areas to live and invest in, drawing interest from business professionals, creatives and tech talent. Engel & Völkers anticipates annual growth in Montréal from 4 to 7 per cent in 2020, seeing it hold its position as one of Canada’s hottest housing markets for luxury real estate.


Market Overview

Montréal consistently remains one of the top luxury housing markets in Canada. For the fourth consecutive year, the average single family resale house price in Montréal increased 7 per cent in 2019, condominiums increased by 14 per cent and plexes (2 – 5 units) increased by 14 per cent year-over-year. By the end of December 2019, total residential sales reached 3,533, increasing by 26 per cent compared to December 2018. 2019 proved once again to be a seller’s market, with much of the inventory receiving multiple offers, according to Engel & Völkers Montréal. This was the first year the city experienced consistent multiple offers on properties, with many receiving 10 or more. The Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers (QPAREB) reported 35 per cent of all real estate transactions through September 2019 in Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie resulted in selling prices exceeding asking prices. That is the highest proportion among Montréal Island neighbourhoods.

An In-Depth Look 

Montréal’s most in-demand luxury markets continue to be Plateau Mont Royal, Outremont, Westmount, Montreal West, Town of Mont-Royal and the West Island, with reports of homes trading for above $1 million over the past two years. Single family units remain the most popular among affluent buyers, with few available vacant lots and strict planning guidelines for new builds, including height restrictions.

According to data released by QPAREB, all six main areas of Montréal’s CMA registered significant sales increases in December, including North Shore (35 per cent increase), South Shore (31 per cent increase), Laval (27 per cent increase), Island of Montréal (21 per cent increase), Vaudreuil-Soulanges (20 per cent increase) and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu (19 per cent increase).

The median price of single family homes stood at $355,000 in December, up 9 per cent compared to one year earlier. The median price of condominiums stood at $285,000, a sustained increase of 5 per cent compared to December of 2018. The median price of plexes jumped by 11 per cent year-over-year, reaching $581,000.

The investor market has picked up in Montréal, especially with data from showing average rents in some areas of the city growing by over 20 per cent annually. Newcomer and foreign investor interest is growing, with the largest international buyer group coming from French-speaking Europe and North Africa, including France, Algeria, Lebanon, Morocco, and Egypt. A growing investor group is coming from China, the most affluent of which are buying hotels, while others are concentrating on downtown new construction. When the foreign buyers tax was introduced in Toronto, inquiries on, a website featuring international properties to an audience of high net worth Chinese buyers, grew by 85 per cent in 2017.

Montréal consistently ranks as the best city in the world for students on the QS Best Student Cities ranking list with top-tier universities like Université de Montréal and McGill University – and 2019 saw it earn this position once again. The QS Best Student Cities ranking considers factors such as the quality of a city’s universities, its student population, accessibility for international students, safety, affordability, employment opportunities and a survey of students from around the world. With this, Montréal is seeing a rising trend of international students moving into the city for post-secondary education and long-term residency.

A neighbourhood to watch is Mile-Ex, an industrial area attracting architects and creatives who are converting spaces into residential lofts and businesses. Mile-Ex sits next door to Mile End, a destination for food, art and galleries. Mile-Ex is the emerging tech hub of Montréal, with multinational corporations like IBM, Facebook, Google, and Samsung expanding operations in this area. The Montréal Institute for Learning Algorithms is opening a new facility supporting 700 workers here as well. Both Mile End and Mile-Ex are important economic drivers in Montréal. These multi-faceted communities have a rich history as an immigrant corridor and are known for affordability and a wide-range of positive cash flow duplexes. Other up-and-coming markets for investors are Little Italy and Villeray. Overall, Engel & Völkers Montreal is also seeing the South Shore, North Shore, Eastern Townships, Tremblant and Québec City growing as strong luxury markets in the province.

Engel & Völkers cited its average sale price in 2019 in Montréal was $761,000, with

155 current listings over $1 million entering 2020. In 2019, it closed 206 deals priced over $1 million.

Montréal benefited greatly from the lack of a foreign buyers tax – more so after Toronto’s went into effect. In 2019, it seemed like all eyes were on Montréal when looking to buy, and we’re seeing strong interest from French speaking countries in Europe and North Africa as well as China. Our growing employment market, quality of life, strong affordability and top-ranked schools make Montréal one of the best cities to live in, globally.”

  • Patrice Groleau, License Partner at Engel & Völkers Montreal

Montréal Forecast

Engel & Völkers projects annual growth from 4 to 7 per cent in 2020. The market is projected to continue being a strong seller’s market, attracting demand both domestically and internationally. Shorter selling times for all property types reflect this position in favour of sellers. Single family homes were down by 15 per cent to 61 days and condominiums were down by 17 per cent to 76 days. It is clear Montréal benefited greatly from the lack of a foreign buyers tax, and overall consumer confidence remains high. There is a consistent demand and attraction for living in the city, evident by the reduced days on the market and many properties selling above asking.